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Hamdok calls on Saudi businessmen to invest in Sudan

Abdallah Hamdok
October 7, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok on Monday called on Saudi businessmen to increase investments in his country and pledged to reforms to facilitate foreign investments.

The call was made during a meeting with Saudi businessmen on the sidelines of a visit with the head of the Council of Sovereignty to Saudi Arabia, during which they met with King Salman on Sunday.

“The change that has taken place in Sudan is profound and comprehensive for all aspects of life, including the creation of a favourable investment environment for foreign investors,” he said.

He promised to work hard to remove all obstacles facing Saudi investors in Sudan, stressing that east African country which is on the other bank of th Red Sea is a resource-rich country before to say "We look forward to cooperation in the fields of agriculture, industry, services, infrastructure and energy".

Hamdok stressed that Sudan will work to develop the financial and banking system, adopt the unified window system for investors and develop investment procedures, land and taxes, pointing out that the problems and challenges of fuel and energy supplies and weak infrastructure, ports and others are promising opportunities for investors.

Arab investors complain about the local and national taxes, corruption and lack of infrastructures.

Initially, to revive the economic development in his impoverished country Hamdok said he seeks to remove his country from the U.S. terror list, get a foreign debit relief before to borrow from the international financing institutions.

However, Washington refuses to delist Sudan from the blacklist for the time being, while the World Bank said they need several years before to benefit from debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative.

The Sudanese Prime Minister told the Saudi investors that he would hold a Saudi-Sudanese economic forum to discuss promising investment opportunities and increase cooperation between the two countries.

The volume of trade exchange between the two countries in 2018 amounted to about 4.6 billion Saudi riyals ($ 1.2 billion), according to the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Saudi investments in Sudan have grown over the past years, with the service sector accounting for the highest percentage of these investments (49.5%), followed by the agricultural sector (32.5%) and the industrial sector (28%).